3 new jobs for people seeking asylum: A day at the ASC

Behind-the-scenes in ASC’s employment service June 23, 2022

A man with a beard smiles while speaking to another man.

For Asylum Seekers Centre employment coordinator Jeff Milgate, the best kind of day is one where a person seeking asylum secures a new job. 

The vast majority of people seeking asylum aren’t eligible for any kind of Centrelink payment, so a job is a lifesaver: a pathway to a secure future and new friendships.

Last week, two of Jeff’s clients started new roles and another man secured a job immediately after being interviewed. 

Ahmed* started work as a general labourer with a waste management facility. Preetha* had her first shift with a social enterprise cafe that trains refugee and asylum seeker women as kitchen hands and cooks. 

And Sayed* had a successful job interview with a company that manages recreational facilities. 

“I got some feedback from the customer service manager, and she said, ‘This man melts my heart. What a gem. Hired on the spot,” said Jeff. 

“Nothing makes my day like hearing one of the people we support say, ‘I got the job’.”

Five people sit around a desk in an office, having a team meeting.

Asylum seekers face barriers to the workforce

Work is crucial for people seeking asylum, but they face barriers to employment in Australia. Most lack local career networks, language can be a barrier, and the temporary nature of their bridging visas can sometimes disadvantage them in the hiring process. 

“People seeking asylum want to develop in their careers, create connections, and be part of the Australian community,” said Jeff.

“A new job is a huge step.”

In the last financial year, the Asylum Seekers Centre helped 1168 people search for jobs, as they waited for outcomes on their asylum applications.

Two people sit at a desk, on a video call with a potential job candidate.

How you can help

Asylum seekers bring resilience, skills and cross-cultural experience to the workplace. If you’re interested in hiring a person seeking asylum, please get in touch with our employment team

You can contribute to the Asylum Seekers Centre’s employment program by making a donation

*Names have been changed to protect people’s identities. 

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